Mpox updates

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Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox)

Mpox has not gone away, and there are current mpox cases in northeast Ohio. The mpox virus is in the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox and it is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can spread through any close, personal contact with someone infected.

Have questions about mpox? Call 440-322-6367, and ask for an Epidemiology nurse at Lorain County Public Health. 

Who is at risk? 

Anyone can get mpox if they come in close contact with someone infected with the virus, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Some populations who are at a higher risk for infection include people who have anonymous sex, attend sex parties, exchange sex for money, goods or services, have HIV, or identify as a man who has sex with men, transgender, bisexual, or non-binary). 

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Respiratory symptoms (Such as a sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • Rash or sores

How does mpox spread?

Mpox spreads from person to person, from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. It can take up to 21 days for symptoms to develop after exposure. Mpox can spread through:

  • Direct contact with mpox rash or scabs on a person’s skin.
  • Contact with objects, materials (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact like kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Testing for mpox

If you have symptoms of mpox, talk to your healthcare provider right away. Your healthcare provider will help you decide if you need to be tested for mpox.

Before you see a healthcare provider (or waiting for results), you should:

  • Avoid gatherings and close contact with others. 
    • If you must be around others, wear a mask and cover sores. 
  • Disinfect surfaces in shared bathrooms or rooms between each use. 
  • Avoid sharing objects (towels, utensils, drinking from the same glass). 
  • Avoid close contact with pets or other animals. 

How can I lower my risk?

  • Get vaccinated
  • Try safer sex behaviors
  • Avoid any rashes or sores you see on others and minimize skin-to-skin contact when possible. 
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with mpox has used. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water.
  • If you think you have mpox or been exposed to someone who does, contact a healthcare provider or a public health clinic immediately 

Vaccines for mpox

Vaccine appointments are available in Cuyahoga County and surrounding areas for people who are eligible.

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